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Title The Holy Family
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Studio of Cortona, Pietro da (Italian draftsman and painter, 1596-1669)
Date Earliest about 1650
Date Latest about 1700
Description The cult of the infant Christ in the Counter Reformation was expressed in a number of themes showing the Child in relation to the cross as a visual reference to his death and sacrifice. The baby Jesus lies sprawled corpse-like in his mother's lap on a shroud-like garment. Angels attend him while Joseph remains at a respectful distance and putti hover overhead bearing the cross.
Current Accession Number 1975P407
Former Accession Number P.407´75
Subject religion (Holy Family, angels, putti)
Measurements 144.8 x 115.6 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by the Friends of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery 1973.
Provenance Henry Hope sale, Christie's, London, 29 June 1816 as The Holy Family with Angels supporting the cross, bought by Moseley [;]; Bought from Agnew's for £750; The Society of St Mary & St John of Lichfield, sold, 3 March 1965, lot 15, as 'The Property of the Provost and Fellows of the Society of St Mary and St John of Lichfield (removed from the Prestefelde School Chapel)'.
Publications Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 36, ill.
Notes Another version is in the Pallavinci Collection, Rome and one in the Pfarrkirche, Walterskirchen, Austria. It is thought that the Austrian painting is the original, the Pallarvinci version, a poor copy and the Birmingham version, a good studio copy. A drawing that relates to this painting is in the Lugt Collection, Fondation Custodia at the Institut Néerlandais in Paris from the Hudson and Reynolds Collection, inv no. 1. 6246. A Holy Family is mentioned in the inventory of the Pitti Palace, 1638 (Archivio de Stato, Firenze Guardaroba Medicea, F 535).
Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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